Brand Therapy
99 pages
English

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99 pages
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Description

The pharma and medtech sectors are evolving rapidly, driven by science, technology, economics, politics and globalization. In the new industry landscape, creating strong brand strategies is ever more difficult and ever more vital.
Brand Therapy gives pharma and medtech brand teams the tools to understand their market, create strong strategies and translate them into actionable plans. Written in 16 short, easy chapters, it is essential reading for anyone who works in or with brand teams in the life sciences industry.
Introduction............................................................................................................1
Chapter 1: Strong brand strategies use the right tools: An overview of
the brand team’s toolkit .........................................................................................5
Chapter 2: Strong brand strategies are about the customer: Using the
Customer-Centric Market Definition to frame your analysis. ...............................17
Chapter 3: Strong brand strategies are decisive: Using Drucker’s Definition
to clarify your brand strategy...............................................................................27
Chapter 4: Strong brand strategies are tested: Using Brand Strategy
Diagnostics to test and improve your strategy....................................................35
Chapter 5: Strong brand strategies are aligned to the market: Using
SWOT Alignment to guide your brand strategy...................................................49
Chapter 6: Strong brand strategies are based in reality: Using Reality
Filters to gain strategic objectivity........................................................................65
Chapter 7: Strong brand strategies are focused: Using the Focus Matrix
to guide complex strategies.................................................................................79
Chapter 8: Strong brand strategies are your own: Using Value Chain
Comparison to identify your firm’s distinctive strengths and weaknesses..........95
Chapter 9: Strong brand strategies overcome the competition:
Using Competitive Pressure Analysis to identify competitive threats
and opportunities...............................................................................................105
Chapter 10: Strong brand strategies understand the customer: Using
Contextual Segmentation to identify opportunities and threats from
customer differences..........................................................................................119
Chapter 11: Strong brand strategies compete in the future: Using
Emergent Properties Analysis to identify future opportunities and threats........131
Chapter 12: Strong brand strategies anticipate the market: Using the
Product Category Life Cycle to predict customer and competitor behaviour...143
Chapter 13: Strong brand strategies are built on insight: Using the
Hypothesis Loop to see what your competitors don’t.......................................153
Chapter 14: Strong brand strategies create value: Using the Concentric
Value Proposition to translate strategy into activities........................................165
Chapter 15: Strong brand strategies are measured: Using 3L Metrics to
improve brand strategy implementation............................................................177
Chapter 16: Strong brand strategies are understood: Using the Wedge
Brand Plan Structure to communicate your brand strategy..............................189
Appendix: Further reading..................................................................................197

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Publié par
Date de parution 25 janvier 2018
Nombre de lectures 4
EAN13 9781788600064
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 1 Mo

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Praise for Brand Therapy
“Brand Therapy is the 21st-century strategic marketing Bible for pharma and medtech brand leaders and their teams. It is an eye-opener for most of us still living in this industry’s product-oriented, specialized culture as it offers new original models with lots of examples to think beyond the pill to prepare step-by-step powerful brand strategies to win.” – Philippe Ghem, Senior Director, Marketing Excellence and Multichannel, Grünenthal GmbH
“The Health Check for your brand strategy. Simple and straightforward tools with lots of examples. Useful for beginners as well as experienced executives – an intelligent, accessible and comprehensive handbook.” – Yves Ottiger, VP Global Marketing & Sales, B. Braun
“A masterclass in one book. Professor Brian Smith summarizes the key elements and particularities which drive the success of healthcare brands in just 209 pages.” – Luciano Conde CEO, Noventure
“At last a book on marketing that perfectly fits the complexity and uniqueness of medtech and life sciences industries! More than just an academic marketing book, Brand Therapy provides simple and efficient tools to improve the relevance of marketing analysis and strategy building, tailored made for Medical Devices markets.” – Sandrine Letellier, Vice President Global Marketing, Advanced Wound Devices, Smith & Nephew
“This is a book I would have loved to have in my pocket or my iPad earlier in my life in the pharmaceutical industry. It is amazing how Brian succeeds in sharing very important classical tools and enriches them to make them fit the market conditions we are facing nowadays… I hope all our colleagues in the industry will make Brand Therapy their daily handbook.” – Anne Baille, Vice President Strategic Marketing
“A highly practical guide to the essentials of creating coherent and valuable brand strategy in medtech or pharma. It’s a must read for anyone who leads or works in Brand Teams.” – Craig Galloway, Associate Director International Marketing
“If you work in the pharma and medtech space and you have responsibilities for development and delivery of strong brand strategies, in today’s complex and rapidly changing markets, there are very few appropriate and practical books to guide you. Until now. Prof. Brian Smith has condensed his 20 years of academic research into this step-by-step, brand strategy process which is tailored specifically for our unique customers and markets… I am certain I will be diving into this book many times over the coming years to utilise the many valuable techniques, tools and principles to strengthen the brands I manage. I read this book in a day and I believe every medtech manager should read this book and have it close to hand.” – Kashif Ikram. MSc. M.A. MBA Senior Director EMEA Medtronic
“A must-read for every marketing manager in the pharma or med device space. This is the first book that I am aware of that looks closely at brand strategy specific to this industry. I have been reading Brian’s work for a couple of years, and he gets it! He articulates in such a way that enables you to sort through the minutia and have that ‘Aha’ moment. It’s easy for a marketing team to convince themselves that they have a better product than the competition, but to truly assess the strength of your strategy for a particular target market is the real litmus test. No one has given the easy to follow step by step methodology that he does before.” – Linda Beneze, CEO at Monarch Medical Technologies
“Essential reading for every healthcare leader and brand team member who wants to create a successful, strong brand. Brian has translated the plethora of marketing literature into the healthcare context to make it relevant and current for the healthcare industry. Based on thorough research and repeated application he has come up with the tool-book for everyday use. Having prepared a brand for impactful entry into a very competitive market environment with the tools provided, I assure you: it works! The tool-book is essential to run the end-to-end strategy process in healthcare such as pharma or medtech. Also, it is a tool-box of choice to selected tools for testing, upscaling or fixing existing strategies.” – Jens Thiedemann, Head of Marketing Europe, Daiichi Sankyo Europe
“This is a must read for any pharma/medtech professional about to kick-off a brand planning process. It is easy to read, but packed full of reminders regards well-established principles as well as new thinking. There is clarity in the ‘red thread’ that runs right through from understanding the environment to developing appropriate strategy and ultimately measuring the impact & taking the learnings of the tactics that are developed… with the specific relevance to pharma and medtech highlighted throughout.” – Stephen Turley, Area Head, British & Irish Isles UCB Pharma
“This book stands out from many others in the strategic marketing area due to its focus specifically on the life science industry by an author who has extensive academic and industrial experience in life science. It will provide a wide range of brand, sales and marketing management readers with a set of tools that are based on academic research but uniquely brought together to aid the development of a robust, tested brand strategy fit for the complex market we compete in. This book is written in such a way that it can be used as a ‘go-to’ guide for brand strategy definition, development and verification.” – Russell Watts, Director – Business Development and Marketing, EMEAI SCIEX, a Danaher company
“The need for ‘innovative solutions’ in a healthcare environment which requires disruption is high. Focusing on improved ‘patient value’ at a ‘lower cost’ – the industry must now be futuristic in how it responds. Smith has captured the new guide to brand relevance and sustainability.” – Pamela Winsor Sr. Director Health Policy & Stakeholder Engagement Chief Marketing Officer Medtronic Canada
“This valuable handbook is a ‘must have, must read and must use’ for any anyone who wants to be successful in building Pharma or Medtech brand strategies. The scientific rigor used to build the theory combined with so many practical examples makes it easy to dip in and out of, and is spot on to sum up that in marketing everything begins and ends with the customer. Brand Therapy is a practical toolbox which will allow the Pharma and Medtech brand marketer to win the hearts and mind of their customers by defining the market from their point of view and addressing their needs better than anyone else.” – Bharat Tewarie, MD, MBA, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at UCB

First published in Great Britain by Practical Inspiration Publishing, 2018
© Brian D. Smith, 2018
The moral rights of the author have been asserted
ISBN (print): 978-1-78860-005-7
ISBN (ebook): 978-1-78860-006-4
ISBN (Kindle): 978-1-78860-004-0
All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced without the express written permission of the author.
Contents
Introduction
Chapter 1: Strong brand strategies use the right tools: An overview of the brand team’s toolkit
Strong brand strategies come from using a set of complementary strategic management tools in an integrated process. This chapter explains what tools are available and their relevance to pharma and medtech markets.
Chapter 2: Strong brand strategies are about the customer: Using the Customer-Centric Market Definition to frame your analysis
You can’t create a strong brand strategy until you really understand your market and you can’t understand your market until you define it the same way as your customer does. This chapter guides you to begin your strategy making process with a customer-centric definition of the market.
Chapter 3: Strong brand strategies are decisive: Using Drucker’s Definition to clarify your brand strategy
The brand team can only create a brand strategy if it first agrees on what one is. This chapter defines what a brand strategy is and how it differs from the other things with which it is often confused.
Chapter 4: Strong brand strategies are tested: Using Brand Strategy Diagnostics to test and improve your strategy
To do its job effectively, the brand team must be able to differentiate between strong and weak brand strategies. This chapter describes how to objectively test your brand strategy and identify where it can be improved.
Chapter 5: Strong brand strategies are aligned to the market: Using SWOT Alignment to guide your brand strategy
Strong brand strategies use your strengths to exploit opportunities and defend your weaknesses against threats. This chapter explains this alignment process and how it reveals the critical success factors that your brand strategy must address.
Chapter 6: Strong brand strategies are based in reality: Using Reality Filters to gain strategic objectivity
The brand team’s job is to make strategy for the real world, not the world as they would like it to be. This chapter shows you how to filter bias and subjectivity out of your market analysis so that your brand strategy is based on objective reality.
Chapter 7: Strong brand strategies are focused: Using the Focus Matrix to guide complex strategies
In complex markets, strong brand strategies make nuanced choices about how much and what kind of resource each target segment needs. This chapter describes how to make those choices to achieve optimal return on investment.
Chapter 8: Strong brand strategies are your own: Using Value Chain Comparison to identify your firm’s distinctive strengths and weaknesses
Strong brand strategies leverage distinctive strengths, whilst either correcting or mitigating significant weaknesses. This chapter guides you to uncover and understand what your firm’s characteristic strengths and weaknesses really are.
Chapter 9: Strong brand strategies overcome the competition: Using Competitive Pressure Analysis to identify competitive threats and opportunities
Strong brand strategies understand what creates competitive pressures and how they are likely to change. This chapter explains how you can use the characteristics of your market to anticipate and respond to your wider competitive environment.
Chapter 10: Strong brand strategies understand the customer: Using Contextual Segmentation to identify opportunities and threats from customer differences
Strong brand strategies understand and use the differences and similarities between your customers. This chapter guides your understanding of how professionals, payers and patients combine to segment your market and the opportunities and threats that arise from this.
Chapter 11: Strong brand strategies compete in the future: Using Emergent Properties Analysis to identify future opportunities and threats
Strong brand strategies understand and use the wider market drivers shaping your market. This chapter shows you how to identify those factors and how they combine to create opportunities and threats.
Chapter 12: Strong brand strategies anticipate the market: Using the Product Category Life Cycle to predict customer and competitor behaviour
Strong brand strategies understand and allow for what customers and competitors will do next. This chapter helps you to understand how adoption and imitation shape your market over time and how to anticipate those changes.
Chapter 13: Strong brand strategies are built on insight: Using the Hypothesis Loop to see what your competitors don’t
Strong brand strategies are based on valuable and unique insight that your competitors don’t possess. This chapter explains what true market insight is and how it can be created from the information that you already have.
Chapter 14: Strong brand strategies create value: Using the Concentric Value Proposition to translate strategy into activities
Strong brand strategies create customer preference by following a set of activities that create compelling value for their target customers. This chapter explains how to use the different levels of customer needs to identify a complete set of implementation activities.
Chapter 15: Strong brand strategies are measured: Using 3L Metrics to improve brand strategy implementation
Strong brand strategies are implemented dynamically, adapting to new information and becoming stronger with each planning cycle. This chapter explains how different kinds of metrics allow effective implementation of your brand strategy.
Chapter 16: Strong brand strategies are understood: Using the Wedge Brand Plan Structure to communicate your brand strategy
Strong brand strategies are fully understood by those who must support and implement them. This chapter explains how to structure your brand plan so that it will be read, committed to and implemented.
Appendix: Further reading
Introduction
Is this book for you and why should you read it? Why shouldn’t you read another book? Or none at all?
This book is for you if …
… you work in or with a brand team in a pharmaceutical, medical technology or other life sciences company. You might be a brand leader, senior or junior. You might work in sales management or medical affairs or market access or business intelligence or regulatory. You might work at Corporate HQ or in a national or regional affiliate. Different companies use different titles and structure themselves differently. Whatever your role, competing successfully in the life sciences market is difficult and requires a range of expertise, from medical and technological to marketing and other commercial. That’s why almost all companies use cross-functional teams to manage their brands and products. If you work in one of those teams or aspire to, or if those teams report to you, then this book is written for you.
You should read this book because …
… successful brand management in medical technology, pharmaceutical and similar markets is very difficult. The products are technically advanced; the markets are very complex; and everything you do must be compliant with regulatory, legal and industry codes. In addition, the customers are very discerning and healthcare budgets are, and always will be, very tight; demand for healthcare is more or less limitless, whilst the money to pay for it is extremely limited, whatever the product category. On top of this, you are competing with some of the best companies in the world. That’s why you can’t manage brands in this market by intuition and gut feel. You need tools and techniques to help your thinking.
Other books won’t help you much in this market
There are thousands of books about strategic marketing planning. Amazon lists about 4,000. They all say much the same thing, although they try to differentiate themselves with new jargon and acronyms. Many of these books are good. But they are mostly written for and about very different markets—markets where the customer is an individual, not a complex of payer, patient and healthcare professional. They are mostly written for markets where you’re free to say what you like about your product, without evidence, as long as it’s not actually illegal. They aren’t written for markets where marketing can be, quite literally, a matter of life and death.
You should read this book because your market is evolving rapidly
As I’ve written about in two of my previous books ( The Future of Pharma and Darwin’s Medicine ), the life sciences industry, which includes pharmaceuticals, medical technology, diagnostics and other related sectors, is going through a spurt in its evolution. Huge changes are shaping the market. Compared to the recent past, the key strategic factors of who defines value, how they define value and how value is created by companies are all transforming rapidly. As a result, the industry landscape is fragmenting and its business models are evolving and differentiating. In this environment, your only chance to survive is to adapt. Your current approach to making brand strategy is as likely to hinder you as it is to help you.
So, this book is written for …
… brand teams and their colleagues who need to compete in the complex, difficult, evolving life sciences market. It’s based on my 20 years of rigorous academic research into that market, research that itself built on my preceding 20 years in R&D and marketing in pharmaceuticals and medical technology. In addition to that research and experience, it incorporates the lessons from hundreds of strategy workshops, brand planning projects and executive coaching assignments with many pharma and medtech companies, large and small. Both my research and my advisory work have encompassed companies and markets across the globe and this book is written to have similarly wide relevance. You don’t have to read it. But, if your career and your company’s success depends on you competing in pharma, medtech or related markets, you would be ill-advised not to.
Professor Brian D. Smith
CHAPTER 1

Strong brand strategies use the right tools: An overview of the brand team’s toolkit
Strong brand strategies come from using a set of complementary strategic management tools in an integrated process. This chapter explains what tools are available and their relevance to pharma and medtech markets.
A brand team in a pharmaceutical or medical technology company is an expensive thing. Think of how much it costs, not only directly in salaries, benefits and facilities but also what it spends on market research, marketing communications and myriad other expenses. This isn’t money your company wants to spend. It’s money your company feels it has a reason to spend.
That reason is a harsh commercial objective: to create and execute a brand strategy that delivers a good return on investment. So, a brand team’s first, imperative goal is to create a strong brand strategy. Certainly, it also has a subsequent, important task to coordinate the implementation of that strategy across the company; but this book is mostly about the first task of creating a strong brand strategy. In the competitive, evolving markets in which pharma and medtech companies operate, this is a difficult task and you need a set of tools to do it well. The following chapters in this book are about the tools you can use to make strong brand strategy: what they do, how to use them and when to use them. But, as Figure 1.1 shows, this chapter is an overview of the whole process. It is about how those tools fit together to help you deliver what your company is paying the brand team to deliver: a strong brand strategy.

Figure 1.1 An overview of the brand strategy process
Chapter 2: Using the Customer-Centric Market Definition to frame your analysis
In simple markets, it can be enough to define your market in terms of the product you sell. It can be sufficient to say that you operate in the incontinence pad market, or the OTC analgesic market, where what’s sold is a pretty good approximation of the market. But pharma and medtech markets are rarely simple. The market for many drugs, for example, is a fraction of the number of people who have the condition. The market for most imaging and diagnostic products is, in practice, only a part of the interlocking market for clinical information. Because markets and products are not the same thing, defining your market correctly is essential to first understanding it and then competing in it. The tool for doing this is the Customer-Centric Market Definition. How effective most of the other tools will be depends on defining the market correctly, so Chapter 2 describes how to use this tool before you do anything else.
Chapter 3: Using Drucker’s Definition to clarify your brand strategy
In earlier times of relatively easy innovation and less constrained customers, pharma and medtech companies had relatively little need for strategy because their technological innovations almost sold themselves. As a result, strategy became a much-abused word. It was and still is often confused with tactics and objectives. Even when used separately from these things, it’s not always clear what brand strategy is and how this is different from higher level and lower level strategies. This confusion over meaning is more than a matter of semantics. The lack of a shared terminology makes the brand strategy process less effective and less efficient. What’s needed is a concise, clear definition of what the term brand strategy means. The tool for doing this is Drucker’s Definition. It provides clarity about what brand strategy is and so, as Chapter 3 describes, should be used throughout the brand strategy process.
Chapter 4: Using Brand Strategy Diagnostics to test and improve your strategy
The history of pharma and medtech markets is one of technological breakthroughs—products like heart-lung machines, ACE inhibitors and immunoassays that were clearly and demonstrably better than the technologies that came before. With such radically innovative products, it was enough for a brand team to develop and deliver a list of imaginative tactics to inform the eager, expectant customer about the product and how it would address their unmet needs. But, in most parts of our modern market, those days are long gone. New products are usually incremental improvements over already good products. And even the rare, truly radical innovators find it hard to penetrate conservative, cash-strapped healthcare systems. This makes it essential to have a strong brand strategy, not merely a marketing communications plan. The tool for testing the strength of your brand strategy and ensuring it’s as strong as possible is the Brand Strategy Diagnostic. Chapter 4 describes how it works and when to use it.
Chapter 5: Using SWOT Alignment to guide your brand strategy
The life sciences market has traditionally been less competitive than most. That may surprise you, but the evidence of gross margins, returns on investment and industry consolidation confirms it. Equally, recent waves of merger and acquisition, reducing margins and shareholder pressure tell us that this benign environment is changing rapidly, so demanding more competitive strategies. In essence, brand strategy is an alignment process so, when markets become more competitive, the challenge for brand teams is to align themselves ever more closely with the market. This means using their unique strengths to exploit market opportunities, and mitigating their equally unique weaknesses in the face of market threats. The tool for doing this is the much-misunderstood SWOT Alignment. Chapter 5 explains how to use this important tool correctly.
Chapter 6: Using Reality Filters to gain strategic objectivity
In less competitive times and in simpler markets, SWOT was used as a kind of bucket for collecting the brand team’s thoughts. The inputs were often incomplete and usually subjective but, in those benign market conditions, that was good enough. Today’s pharma and medtech markets are anything but benign. They demand effective SWOT Alignment, as described in Chapter 5 ; but this depends on validated inputs. The tool for testing and validating strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats before they go into the SWOT Alignment is a set of four Reality Filters. Chapter 6 explains what they are and how they work.
Chapter 7: Using the Focus Matrix to guide complex strategies
Pharma and medtech markets used to be driven primarily by the decisions of healthcare professionals such as doctors, nurses and technical staff. As a result, markets were relatively homogenous and a single approach to the entire market was sufficient to gain significant market share. That simpler old world is rapidly disappearing. Decision-making is now distributed amongst professionals, payers and patients who vary in both their tangible and intangible needs. This shift has caused many markets to split into segments that define value differently and offer very different returns on investment. This makes it necessary to allocate different amounts and different kinds of resources between those segments. The tool for doing this efficiently and effectively is the Focus Matrix, explained in Chapter 7 .
Chapter 8: Using Value Chain Comparison to identify your firm’s distinctive strengths and weaknesses
The early histories of many pharma and medtech companies are remarkably similar: pioneer founders (often scientists, doctors or engineers), following their dream to build a company that made a difference to patients and society. A logical consequence of this shared heritage was that the competitors in each sector of the market were often very similar in their technology, capabilities and organisational culture. But, in recent years, globalisation and growth have forced companies to specialise and differentiate so that even superficially similar companies operating in the same market usually have significantly different strengths and weaknesses. These differences are the basis for competitive advantage. The tool for identifying these important, idiosyncratic differences is the Value Chain Comparison, as described in Chapter 8 .
Chapter 9: Using Competitive Pressure Analysis to identify competitive threats and opportunities
In pharma and medtech markets, it used to be sufficient to understand the competition as simply those firms making similar products and competing with you for share of the market. Competitive analysis was a relatively easy process of product comparison. But competitive intensity and technological complexity have combined to render this unsophisticated approach ineffective and insufficient for really understanding pharma and medtech markets. It’s now necessary to understand the competitive pressures not only on your market share, but also on your profitability, and to identify threats from both direct and indirect competitors. The tool for doing this is Competitive Pressure Analysis, as described in Chapter 9 .
Chapter 10: Using Contextual Segmentation to identify opportunities and threats from customer differences
When the customers of pharma and medtech companies were almost exclusively healthcare professionals, their shared training and mindset made markets relatively homogenous. Segmentation, such as it was, could be simplified into categories such as disease state or tier of healthcare. This is no longer true. The advent of payer influence and, increasingly, patient power, has rendered such straightforward categorisations much too simplistic. Competitive advantage now rests on understanding the variations in the contexts in which decisions are made. The tool for this is Contextual Segmentation, which is described and explained in Chapter 10 .
Chapter 11: Using Emergent Properties Analysis to identify future opportunities and threats
The wider forces driving healthcare markets used to be understandable by the extrapolation of a few key factors: demographics drove the demand side, technology drove the supply side. In this simple environment, extrapolation of a small number of measurable trends was sufficient to predict the market. But many factors, from politics and economics to social trends and regulation, have now converged to render linear extrapolation obsolete and misleading. Instead, it’s now necessary to understand how many different factors interact, leading to the emergence of both opportunities and threats. The tool for doing this is Emergent Properties Analysis, explained in Chapter 11 .
Chapter 12: Using the Product Category Life Cycle to predict customer and competitor behaviour
Compared to today, pharma and medtech companies of the past were relatively flexible and adaptable. Product development cycles were measured in a handful of years and added value services could be developed in months. The costs and risks of innovative change were relatively low by today’s standards. But market maturity, regulatory pressures and compliance issues have constrained companies to become much slower at adapting to market change, making pre-emption more important. It’s essential to see into the future and anticipate how the market, especially the customer and competitor environment, will change. The tool for anticipating these changes is the Product Category Life Cycle, described in Chapter 12 .
Chapter 13: Using the Hypothesis Loop to see what your competitors don’t
The information that pharma and medtech companies needed to drive their brand strategies used to be relatively small in volume, simple in nature, and from a small number of sources. Demographics and disease patterns, competitor activity and customer purchasing behaviour were formerly quite sufficient to inform the brand plan. Today, the information revolution has changed that situation completely; the quantity and nature of the information available to brand teams is now much greater and it comes from qualitative and quantitative sources of baffling diversity. This creates the challenge of finding needles of insight in haystacks of data. The tool for doing this effectively is the Hypothesis Loop, described in Chapter 13 .
Chapter 14: Using the Concentric Value Proposition to translate strategy into activities
In pharma and medtech companies, the process of translating strategy into activities used to be characterised by the phrase ‘over the wall’. Strategy would be defined at a high level and ‘thrown over the wall’ to the brand team for implementation. There was minimal connection between strategising and execution. This was neither efficient nor effective but, in less competitive markets, it could be tolerated. Today, the demand for marketing effectiveness and accountability means that it’s essential to translate brand strategy into actionable plans that are complete, internally coherent, consistent with strategy and fully costed. The tool for doing this is the Concentric Value Proposition, as described in Chapter 14 .
Chapter 15: Using 3L Metrics to improve brand strategy implementation
In the context of a brand strategy, the term metrics used to be synonymous with expenditures and sales; information systems were set up to report these numbers, and brand plans were designed to give them visibility. But the weaknesses of this relatively straightforward approach have been exposed as pharma and medtech markets have become more competitive. Today, it’s necessary not only to measure what was spent and what was sold; we need information that informs what corrective action must be taken during implementation, and that strengthens our assumptions for the next planning cycle. The tool to do this is 3L Metrics, which is described and explained in Chapter 15 .
Chapter 16: Using the Wedge Brand Plan Structure to communicate your brand strategy
For decades, the structure of brand plans has remained essentially unchanged. Yet, over time, these brand plans have grown steadily as new details are added but unnecessary content is never deleted. The result is brand plans that often stretch for hundreds of pages, fail to communicate strategy effectively and are often left unread after the sign-off process. This is a wasted time cost in preparation and wasted opportunity cost in use, wastage that neither the brand team nor the company can afford. The tool for avoiding this waste and creating communicative, clear brand plans is the Wedge Brand Plan Structure, as described in Chapter 16 .
These 15 tools comprise the essential toolkit for brand teams in pharma and medtech companies. Used collectively, as illustrated in Figure 1.1 , these tools enable the brand team to work together to create strong brand strategies and gain their acceptance from their colleagues. In the following chapters, the application of each tool is explained succinctly in the context of the complex, competitive and changing life sciences market in which pharma and medtech companies operate.
CHAPTER 2

Strong brand strategies are about the customer: Using the Customer-Centric Market Definition to frame your analysis
You can’t create a strong brand strategy until you really understand your market and you can’t understand your market until you define it the same way as your customer does. This chapter guides you to begin your strategy making process with a customer-centric definition of the market.
When should I use the Customer-Centric Market Definition?
You should always begin your brand strategy making process with a customer-centric definition of your market. There are a few, uncommon situations when doing so adds only a little value to the process but, in most cases, using this tool is time well spent. The inputs are very simple: your knowledge about who your customers are and what they’re interested in. The output is a short, clear definition of the market in which you’re competing. This helps focus the brand team and creates a solid foundation for all the other tools that you use. Brand strategies that are not built on Customer-Centric Market Definition are inherently weak, like a cathedral built on sand. For that reason, a Customer-Centric Market Definition is the first stage of your brand strategy process, as shown in Figure 2.1 .

Figure 2.1 Where the Customer-Centric Market Definition fits into the brand strategy process
Why is the Customer-Centric Market Definition especially important in pharma and medtech markets?
Pharma and medtech markets have their origins in, and are still dominated by, a product-centric view of the world. For the most part, their founders were doctors, pharmacists, engineers, scientists or other similar professionals. For much of their history, and especially the last few decades, pharma and medtech companies have competed mostly by inventing innovative new products. This history has led most companies in the industry to have a strongly product-oriented culture. If you need evidence of that, look out for what management scientists call the visible artefacts of your company culture. For example, you will see that companies are often organised around product categories and management reports of spending and income are usually structured by brand. Everywhere you go in a pharma or medtech company, you can see obvious and less obvious examples of a product-oriented culture. It’s often easier to see in other company cultures than in your own because, as is often said, employees are as aware of their company culture as a fish is of the water in which it swims.
Another artefact of this product-oriented culture is the way companies typically define their market in product terms. Market data, for example, usually defines the market size as the aggregate of all the products sold in that market. Competitors are usually defined as other firms who make the same product type. Customers are those who currently buy from us or a competitor.
This product-based definition of the market weakens our understanding of the market in many important ways. In most pharma and medtech markets, product usage and the market for the product are very different things. Just think of the number of untreated patients with mental illness, for example. In addition, the competition may not be a similar product but a substitute, as talking therapies are in mental health. Finally, product-oriented market definition tends to focus attention on healthcare professionals when, increasingly, payers and patients play an important part in the decision-making process. By contrast, the Customer-Centric Market Definition leads to much more effective use of the tools for understanding the market, such as Contextual Segmentation ( Chapter 10 ) and Emergent Properties Analysis ( Chapter 11 ).
So, the Customer-Centric Market Definition is a valuable tool in any market, but it’s especially valuable in pharma and medtech, where we’re faced with a product-oriented culture, complex, latent markets, and changing decision makers.
What is the Customer-Centric Market Definition and how does it work?
Although it’s now fashionable again, Customer-Centric Market Definition is an old idea. It emerged from the academic literature in the 1950s but, even then, it was a reflection of the practice of exemplary marketers in earlier decades. If you want a glimpse into its origins, the seminal read is Theodore Levitt’s 1960 article, Marketing Myopia, in the Harvard Business Review . Despite a lot of hype and repackaging, the basic idea of customer-centricity is to look at the market from the perspective of the customer and not that of the supplier. Like most valuable ideas, customer-centricity is simple to describe but not so easy to do. When brand teams live and breathe their product, they find it hard to look at the market from another angle. In both difficulty and likely outcome, asking brand teams to be customer-centric is rather like asking parents to be objective about their children. However, the best brand teams do achieve a Customer-Centric Market Definition. They do so by following three questioning steps, even though they often do so unconsciously.
Step 1: What is the customers’ most fundamental need?
Customer-centricity begins with asking why anybody might ever be your customer. In other words, what fundamental need would anyone be seeking to meet if they were in the market? There’s a judgement call to be made here, as shown in Figure 2.2 . It’s too narrow a view to say, ‘They have a need for my product’ because, in most pharma and medtech markets, customers would prefer not to buy the product at all. Nobody wants to buy an anticoagulant, a CT scanner or an immunoassay instrument. They all want to meet a need, such as stroke prevention or diagnostic information. On the other hand, it’s possible to go too far the other way and say that the ultimate need of everyone is good health. Too narrow a definition of customer needs leads to the product-orientation problems mentioned above, too wide a definition leads to a market analysis that is too broad to be practically useful.

Figure 2.2 The spectrum of market definitions

Exercise 2.1
Imagine being one of your customers or potential customers and being asked what you need. Try to answer without mentioning a product of any kind. A strong answer would be a need that is shared by all customers and that is different from customers in any other market. A weak answer would mention a product or be a need that only some customers have or that is generic to many different markets.
The balance point is achieved by looking through the customers’ eyes and imagining, for a moment, that products don’t exist. What need has brought a customer to the market? The answer will be somewhere between seeking a product and seeking the panacea of good health. For example, it might be ‘I want to control coagulation’ or ‘I want to prevent deep vein thrombosis’ or ‘I want to detect cancers early’. Importantly, this fundamental need must be what motivates them to buy products or services; but it’s not a product or service.

Exercise 2.2
Beginning with the fundamental need you identified earlier in Exercise 2.1, list all those people involved in addressing that need. A good answer would include specific descriptions of the payers, patients and professionals involved. A weak answer would either omit some people who are involved in addressing that need or include people who may have an interest but are not significantly involved in the choice of how to address that need.
Step 2: Who are the customers?
Having clarified the fundamental need that brings customers into the market, the next step in developing a customer-centric definition of the market is to be clear on who these customers are. The unusual structure of pharma and medtech markets makes this question more complicated than it would be in the market for consumer goods, for example. This is because life sciences markets are almost unique in that the person who pays, the person who uses and the person who consumes are often different people, with very different needs and perspectives. Although the relative influence of each varies greatly between markets and product categories, most pharma and medtech markets involve payers, professionals and patients. Since they are all involved in addressing the fundamental need, they are all customers. For example, in the market for wound healing, your customers might include carers, nursing staff, specialist tissue viability nurses, pharmacy managers, local purchasing committees and, possibly, national health technology assessors.
Step 3: What do our customers have in common and how do they differ?
Good answers to the questions in Steps 1 and 2 tell us who is in our market and why they are in our market. The next step in developing a Customer-Centric Market Definition is to characterise the market in more detail by defining and characterising the other needs that shape and shade customer behaviour as they seek to meet the fundamental need.
In practice, these other customer needs fall into two categories.

Exercise 2.3
Based on the fundamental need you defined in Exercise 2.1 and using the list of customers you identified in Exercise 2.2, write a list of all the needs your customers have when they seek to satisfy their fundamental need. Then divide that list into two, hygiene needs and motivating needs, using the descriptions of those categories provided. Good answers will include both tangible and intangible needs of all customers and will differentiate well between hygiene and motivating needs. Weak answers will omit important needs or customers.
Hygiene needs
These are needs that are shared in equal degree by all customers in the market and that don’t vary between customers. An example of a hygiene need might be that any way of meeting the fundamental need must be safe and reliable or that it must be easily accessible.

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